'How do you rate Murray Hill?'  – the MHNA’s Annual Survey for 2017

Friday, November 10, 2017

'How do you rate Murray Hill?'  – the MHNA’s Annual Survey for 2017

The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association conducted a survey to find out which neighborhood characteristics are most important to the people on our email list and how Murray Hill is doing in these areas. The survey was emailed during the months of August and September 2017, and had a response rate of 12%.

According to our respondents, the most important neighborhood characteristics are safety, convenience for walking, convenience of public transportation, preservation of its historic buildings, services such as dry cleaners, shoe repair, grocery stores, hair salons, drug stores, etc., clean and well-maintained streets and sidewalks, affordability, a quiet environment and open and green spaces with street trees and flowers.

The good news is that Murray Hill is doing well on 4 of the top 5 characteristics: safety, convenience for walking, convenience of public transportation and neighborhood services.

The respondents had different opinions on whether the neighborhood is and should be affordable. In the survey, affordability was broken down into 3 parts: affordable housing, affordable restaurants and affordable shops.

Respondents also said that the neighborhood needs to have more street trees and flowers, more open and green spaces, better noise control, cleaner and better-maintained streets and sidewalks and more preservation of its historic buildings.

91% of the respondents are satisfied with the location of the nearest Post Office, 85% think that there is the right amount of medical services, doctors, dentists and walk-in medical facilities and 77% think that there is the right amount of bank branches and ATMs. However, 82% think that traffic is not well managed, 79% think that construction is not well managed, 78% would like to have more public benches for sitting, and 70% think that there are too many modern residential skyscrapers.

In the open comments section, 34 comments were about the loss of neighborhood character due to empty storefronts, loss of small businesses and restaurants, and new high-rises. Twenty comments were about traffic, including widespread “blocking the box”, blocking intersections and the need for more traffic agents, although many respondents did not like the constant blowing whistles. Twelve comments were about dirty sidewalks, particularly on the avenues, lack of garbage cans on some corners as well as overflowing garbage cans. Eleven comments were about noise, especially related to traffic such as cars honking and sirens, loud parties and construction. Nine comments asked for more green and open spaces, including improvements to the waterfront on the East River. There were eight negative comments about construction, including streets being dug up for utility work. Seven people asked for more street trees, and seven people commented about the homeless problem.

Additional comments were on various topics such as deteriorating bus service and transportation, bicycles (pro and con), parades on Madison Avenue (pro and con), street fairs (pro and con), abuse of commercial parking, and lack of a senior center in the neighborhood.

As far as what kind of events people would like to have, 23 comments suggested community events, both social such as “meet your neighbor” as well as events geared to discussing neighborhood issues, and taking a more activist role in improving the neighborhood. Seven comments asked for preservation and educational activities about historic Murray Hill, including free walking tours.

Additional comments were about having opportunities for members to have more of a voice in MHNA policies, outdoor concerts and senior activities.

Please contact nancysheran@gmail.com if you would like more details about the survey results.





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